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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Three Biju Janata Dal leaders- Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, Achyut Samanta and party spokesperson Prasanta Nanda – filed their nomination papers for three Rajya Sabha seats here on Friday.

They filed their papers before the Returning officer at the Odisha Legislative Assembly in presence of Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik. Several Ministers and legislators of the party were also present during the filing of papers.

All three of them are set to get elected to the upper house of the Parliament with the ruling BJD having 119 legislators in the 147-member Odisha Assembly.

Speaking to media after filing his nomination papers, founder of KIIT and KISS Achyuta Samanta said , "I will continue to raise issues related to education and welfare of backward communities since I have been in that field for more than 25 years. This apart, I will also give importance to other issues that the party raises and those which will be in the interest of our State,"

Similarly, Prasanta Nanda said issues like Polavaram, Mahanadi row, demand for new railway zones, Centre's negligence towards Odisha which have been our main demands will continue to be our agenda.

Ama Odisha Party chief Soumya Ranjan Patnaik said, "I will at least try to raise issues which I think needs attention for the long term development of Odisha."

Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik said that his party will continue to raise the special category status demand in the Rajya Sabha.

"I am sure that all the three BJD candidates for the Rajya Sabha will speak strongly for the interests of Odisha," he said.

Meanwhile, in his nomination papers, Soumya Ranjan declared owning immovable property worth Rs 6.57 crore and movable property of Rs 11.52 crore. While his wife’s immovable property and movable property were to the tune of Rs 1.25 crore and Rs 2.12 crore, respectively as disclosed in the affidavit.

Prashanta Nanda declared immovable assets worth Rs 29.20 lakh and movable assets of Rs 50 lakh in his name and Rs 78 lakh and Rs 2.08 lakh respectively in his wife’s name.

Achyuta Samanta’s nomination papers revealed that he owns immovable property of Rs 4.12 lakh and movable property of Rs 1.86 lakh.

Earlier, the BJD had nominated both Soumya Ranjan and Achyuta Samanta for Rajya Sabha, barely a few hours after they joined the party on March 7.

The Rajya Sabha elections have been necessitated as the tenures of BJD members AU Singhdeo, Dilip Tirkey and BJD-backed independent candidate AV Swami will expire on April 2.

The nomination papers will be scrutinised on March 13 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is March 15.

The polling and counting will be held on March 23. The biennial polls to the upper house of Parliament will be held for a total of 58 seats from 16 states including three from Odisha.

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